Dr. Fauci Says Trump’s ‘Denial and Lack of Facts’ Contributed to Magnitude of U.S. Covid Death Toll

This article was originally published on this site

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been reluctant to blame former President Donald Trump for how the coronavirus devastated the United States so badly, but he said Tuesday that the former president’s denialism about the pandemic contributed to the death toll.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who asked if Trump’s actions contributed to the U.S. death toll, which crossed the 500,000 mark this week.

“Do you think that his denial and lack of facts contributed to this level of loss?” she asked.

“I certainly think that that’s part of it,” Fauci said. “When you have such a common force, such a powerful force against you…you’ve got to do it together in a unifying way and not have any kind of political ideology divisiveness getting in the way of what we’re trying to do. That’s not the only thing that really was a problem, but that’s certainly in my mind, having lived through it, was something that I found really to be unfortunately damaging.”

From there, Camerota noted Trump’s minimization of the virus while he was in office, and she asked Fauci “Do you think that his denial and lack of facts contributed to this level of loss?”

His answer:

I’m uncomfortable going back and directly criticizing, but it’s really almost self evident that when you’re trying to signal the country to really buckle down and address the kinds of mitigation strategies that we put forth — the wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding congregate settings, the kinds of things that I and many of the other public health people, who were there, trying to get the country to appreciate the this that we were trying to do all throughout the entire outbreak.

I mean, the thing that I remember very clearly is when we were trying to open up the country, open up the economy and to do it carefully with the gateway, the phase 1, phase 2, the phase 3. I was hoping that would see a uniform, unified approach towards all doing that together. And when signals come saying ‘this isn’t so bad, we’re in pretty good shape,’ when we’re saying we’re not, we being the health people, that was not helpful, because the people who wanted to deny that this is something that was serious when you get a signal from above that it might not be [so bad], then you don’t do the kinds of things you need to do.

Watch above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]